Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2018/June

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← May 2018 · June 2018 · July 2018 → · (current)


Seems like a folk etymology. But I know nothing about Semitic. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 22:32, 3 June 2018 (UTC)

I think it is correct. I don't see anything that makes me think it's folk etymology. —Stephen (Talk) 23:29, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
My guess is that the word, when used in the Qur’an to refer to a demonic spirit, derives from the same use in the Bible, but with pronunciation and spelling taken from an existing adjective meaning “burning”. There can be little doubt that it is cognate to Hebrew שָׂטָן‎, for which the usually given etymology is that the original meaning of the word is adversary, used as a noun (the Adversary); see the entry satan in the Online Etymology Dictionary. I don't know the further etymology of the Hebrew word, but I see no plausible semantic connection between adversary and burning.  --Lambiam 14:38, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
The etymology was more or less ruined by edits made by LissanX, but the original by Palaestrator verborum was problematic in that it was verbose and poorly phrased, as his etymologies often are. Here is PV's version, based on the references in the entry. An interested editor should probably try to rewrite it into a more comprehensible form and reinsert it into the entry. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 14:52, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
I think the Arabic root is denominative and has nothing to do with burning and the word is borrowed from Hebrew. Nişanyan mentions שָׁטָן(śāṭān) is derived from שָׁטַן(śāṭan, to slander, fool). --Anylai (talk) 10:48, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
The Hebrew Wiktionary gives (in an infobox) a triconsonantal root שׂ־ט־ן, which however is a redlink, and states that this is probably the root, meaning "resistance" and "rivalry" (התנגדות ויריבות). The verb שָׁטַן is not listed.  --Lambiam 02:29, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

I proposed an etymology in the entry. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 14:45, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

I think your version is very good: concise and supported by the references and facts. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 14:17, 13 June 2018 (UTC)


Etymonline, MW, and Dictionary.com give the etymology as "unknown", which was ours for a while too. A user added the current etymology with no source (which was also their first and only edit). It seems plausible I guess but I can't find anything supporting it. Should we change the etymology back to "Unknown"? – Julia (talk• formerly Gormflaith • 22:34, 3 June 2018 (UTC)

Done Leasnam (talk) 18:31, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
Nice. No loss of information. DCDuring (talk) 22:04, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

English isodomon[edit]

This clearly comes from Greek, but what is the etymon? Merriam-Webster says this:

Latin & Greek; Latin isodomum, from Greek isodomon, neuter of isodomos of equal courses, from is- + domos course of masonry, house

This is somewhat questionable (why would "isodomon" go through Latin?), and in addition it's not clear that Ancient Greek ἰσόδομος ever really existed. Benwing2 (talk) 23:24, 3 June 2018 (UTC)

The Etymological and Pronouncing Dictionary of the English Language (1874) says that isodomon is from ἴσος, equal, and δέμειν, to build)
greek.enacademic.com says (of ισοδομικός) that:
ΕΤΥΜΟΛ. < ἰσόδομος. Η λέξη μαρτυρείται από το 1888 στον Χρ. Τσούντα (The word is attested since 1888 in w:Christos Tsountas).
I think it has been common to take a Greek word from Latin and respell it according to the original Greek. I don't know if that was the case with isodomon, but I think it's possible. —Stephen (Talk) 00:18, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Liddell & Scott does list the adjective ἰσόδομος (of a wall: “built in equal courses”).  --Lambiam 13:45, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
I've checked Vitruvius' and Pliny's quotes, and both times the term is in the Latin alphabet though:
  • "Graeci e lapide duro aut silice aequato struunt veluti latericios parietes. cum ita fecerunt, isodomon vocant genus structurae; at cum inaequali crassitudine structa sunt coria, pseudisodomon."
  • "Isodomum dicitur, cum omnia coria aequa crassitudine fuerint structa; pseudisodomum cum inpares et inaequales ordines coriorum diriguntur."
Per utramque cavernam 13:53, 5 June 2018 (UTC)


I was reading the definition of Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/ksen- (which says it comes from kes-) and found the verb card, which I didn't know/understand (actually I didn't realise/remember), so I went to read card (which says it comes from ker/sker).

Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 09:41, 5 June 2018 (UTC)


Claimed to derive from Proto-Turkic *bĀjk- (owl). Nişanyan derives it from bay + kuş, “noble bird”.  --Lambiam 13:33, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

Added by a long-inactive editor, and I don't know what their source was. I'd just replace it with the sourced ety, but @Vahagn Petrosyan might have input. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 14:55, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Added sources to بايقوش(baykuš). There are more theories in Sevortyan. --Vahag (talk) 16:09, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Proto Turkic reconstruction is problematic due to possible folk etymology involved. Neither *bāy (rich) nor *kuš < *kuĺ (bird) may have anything to do with the word. Although not a bird, reconstruction of bat, *yarïsgu also contains similar problem, many of the descendants folk etymologically tries to analyse it as *yarï (membrane) *kānat (wing). --Anylai (talk) 11:12, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

RFV: merge in Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/lewk-?[edit]

One of the reconstructions and lux say it comes from léwk-s via PIt louks. Another and լուցել say from lewk-s via լուցանեմ. Are they the same? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 10:29, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

They are not the same. The Armenian verb լուցանեմ (lucʿanem), stem *լոյց- (*loycʿ-), is from the sigmatic aorist *lewk-s- or an inchoative in *-sk-. Latin lux is from a root noun. --Vahag (talk) 15:17, 6 June 2018 (UTC)


Could CZ louka 'meadow' come from *lówkos- as lea 'meadow'? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 11:36, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

"vacuum cleaner" in many Germanic languages + Finnish[edit]

The word for "vacuum cleaner" in several European languages is a compound of the components "dust" and "sucker" (German Staubsauger, Dutch stofzuiger, Swedish dammsugare, Danish støvsuger, Norwegian støvsuger/støvsugar, Finnish pölynimuri, Yiddish שטויבזויגער(shtoybzoyger) beside other words, Icelandic ryksuga, Faroese dustsúgvari, Esperanto polvosuĉilo which is obviously a calque). The distribution suggests a calque, especially from German, but is there evidence for a particular direction? Dutch stofzuiger is attested since 1874. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:37, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

Speaking of Dutch stofzuiger, is Afrikaans stofsuier really descended from it (per our entries)? From what you've demonstrated, it seems just as likely (if not more so) that it was simply calqued from the same source as the Dutch term, but not directly descended from it, unless the Dutch term is the source of the calques in all the other languages (which I don't think is the case tbh). — Mnemosientje (t · c) 14:24, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
Russian пылесос (pylesos) is also literally "dust sucker". According to the source I just added, Russian is calqued from German Staubsauger. --Vahag (talk) 15:10, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
The language with the oldest attestation has good papers for being the source. The page stofzuiger gives a quotation from 1874, although then not yet meaning a moveable vacuum cleaner. The first domestic vacuum cleaners to hit the Continental European market, in 1910, were produced by the Danish firm Fisker & Nielsen (now Nilfisk), and their promotion material may have helped to spread the dustsucker family of words. For what it's worth, the Danish name is støvsuger (whose etymology is given as being from støvsuge + -er – but I'd think that the verb is actually a backformation from the noun.)  --Lambiam 03:20, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
It looks like the German term dates to as early as 1846 (glossed as "ventilator"). [1] ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:48, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
@Mnemosientje Perhaps not as German and Low German are also possible influences, though I think it's reasonable to consider Dutch the more likely source. I've updated the entry. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:48, 11 June 2018 (UTC)


(nonstandard, humorous) volleyball
Etymology right now says it was popularized in 2011 from some YA book. I remember as a kid thinking it was "bolleyball" until I was like seven. Google books shows that it's attestable since about the 70's; I can't find any evidence that that particular book boosted the popularity. Also, the uses I found were not humorous. What's the etymology – a mishearing/consonant harmony thing? Are the uses "mistakes" or do they serve a purpose? (This is a bit of a TR question too; I can post it over there if wanted) – Julia • formerly Gormflaith • 19:31, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

PIE for lynx[edit]

We have λύγξ, լուսան, lūšis Lithuanian, lūsis Latvian, Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/rysь, Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/luhsaz (in lūsis it says Proto-Germanic *luhs(u)- and this lūsis also says Old Prussian luysis.

Can't we really know the intermediate noun to take those out of Unsorted formations in Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/lewk-? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 23:45, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

PIE lewk-[edit]

Maybe just a coincidence, but:

  1. the translation of lynx to Ladino is lustrel
  2. lynx itself (cf. section before) come from PIE *lewk-
  3. we have lustre in several languages, which comes from PIE lowkstro-., which is from PIE *lewk- itself

More on unsorted PIE *lewk- & RFV[edit]

Should it not be unsorted any more?

  • By the way, can anyone check that I placed the unsorted Latv/Lith/Armen/PSla/PGerm in the correct location?

Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 23:45, 7 June 2018 (UTC)


Here's a dilly: crimp currently has two etymology sections, but the definition in Etymology 2 ("An agent who procures seamen, soldiers, etc.") is almost identical to one in Etymology 1 ("3. One who decoys or entraps men into the military or naval service.").

Moreover, while Etymology 1 asserts a Middle English antecedent, the OED Online (2010) suggests, "It is striking that the word and its derivatives are attested only once in Old English [...] and twice (in the same source) in Middle English [...], and are otherwise found only from the late 17th cent. onwards". Douglas Harper suggests, "Old English had gecrympan 'to crimp, curl,' but the modern word probably is from Middle Dutch or Low German crimpen/krimpen 'to shrink, crimp.'"

Turning to Modern English, OED Online has separate head words for three noun senses and four verb senses, though it suggests that some of these may have the same etymology. For example crimp v2 says it's from crimp n2, which in turn may be from crimp v1.

Any road, it seems more complicated and less certain than crimp currently suggests. Cnilep (talk) 03:59, 8 June 2018 (UTC)

The sense should obviously not be listed in both sections, so I've (re)moved it out of Etymology 1, although other dictionaries do hypothesize that Etymology 2 is from Etymology 1. - -sche (discuss) 18:54, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
I've marked it as 'uncertain, likely from etymology 1', following speculation in the OED Online. It seems equally defensible to collapse them into a single section, though. Cnilep (talk) 23:08, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

adjectives in -ized or -izing with no verb in -ize[edit]

What should our etymology of e.g. morphologicalized be? It's formed as if from *morphologicalize, which however does not seem to exist. I think there are other words ending in -ized and/or in -izing that are only attested as adjectives and not as verbs in -ize, so this is a general question about such words, even if someone finds enough citations of *morphologicalize. Should we treat -ized and -izing as endings? Or say "as if from a verb *foobarize"? - -sche (discuss) 19:05, 8 June 2018 (UTC)

I took a stab at it. Please have a look and see if this will do Leasnam (talk) 04:47, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
I made a list of all the entries of this type I could find: User:-sche/ized (though it contains some chaff and false positives where the verb in -ize is real but doesn't have an entry yet). Several already use the "foobar + -ize + -ed" format you used. That works if there's nothing better, but it seems odd because the two suffixes are added as one unit (in the cases I'm talking about, there's no intermediate form with just -ize), which seems to cause us to consider them to be one suffix in other cases, like Talk:-icity. Have other dictionaries/references etymologized/analyzed any of these words? - -sche (discuss) 06:50, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Another set of false positives I'm fixing: cases where someone moved e.g. Sinicize to sinicize but didn't move the inflected forms or leave an {{altcaps}}... - -sche (discuss) 20:00, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
I think that in the following quotation the word morphologicalized is a verb form:
  • 1994, Omar Ka, Wolof Phonology and Morphology, University Press of America, page 99:
    This does not, of course, mean that a similar morphological solution for the gemination rule discussed in section 3.1 is necessary, but it does suggest that both gemination and degemination may be alike in having been morphologicalized.
 --Lambiam 00:14, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
I suppose it's possible that all these entries are sometimes verb forms, which would simplify the question of their etymologies. - -sche (discuss) 20:00, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
There are probably adjectives ending in -ified without verbs ending in -ify, too, so in the same vein: (if there are such adjectives,) is -ified a suffix? Why or why not? - -sche (discuss) 20:00, 14 June 2018 (UTC)


Why does the etymology link back to itself (प्रत्यय)? Is this a mistake? ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:14, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

The etymology for the Hindi word links to the Sanskrit word, which is to say, the Sanskrit section on the page for प्रत्यय. But in this case there is no Sanskrit section on that page; in such cases your browser interprets the section link as a link to the whole page. Following the link then is a no-op. This happens all the time if the spelling in the borrowing language is the same as for the lender's and the page has no separate section for the lending language. Another example is English acciaccatura from Italian. So it is not a mistake.  --Lambiam 00:38, 10 June 2018 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:24, 10 June 2018 (UTC)


Anon requested a ref. @Metaknowledge? (you added the ety) – Julia • formerly Gormflaith • 02:06, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

Maybe @ZxxZxxZ, Vahagn Petrosyan, Kaixinguo~enwiktionary might have more knowledge in this area. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:34, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I have no memory of where I got this, because I added it years before I even took a Persian course! In any case, a quick Google search turned up this presentation, which cites Fromkin, Rodman, and Hyams (a basic linguistics textbook). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 08:49, 11 June 2018 (UTC)


Our listed etymology presents this word as a derivative of Anglo-Norman neit ("good, desirable, clean"), which is alleged here to be the result of a conflation of Old French net/nette ("clean, clear, pure"), which is derived from Latin nitidus ("gleaming") and Middle English *neit/nait ("in good order, trim, useful, dextrous"), which is a derivative of Old Norse neytr ("fit for use, in good order"), which is from Proto-Germanic.

Are we sure about this? Other sources say that Anglo-Norman neit is merely a derivative of Old French net/nette, without any mention of conflation going on. The linguistic purist in me wants it to be true, but I have my doubts about this. Tharthan (talk) 05:51, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

Century Dictionary doesn't claim Old Norse contamination either. Zapping off the Old Norse mention. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 14:13, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
@Mellohi! I guess my only question left is: why are net ("good, clean") and neat two different words? Since they are both from Middle English net, nette, and they at least initially had roughly the same meaning, what's the need for the two words? Tharthan (talk) 17:47, 13 June 2018 (UTC)


@Victar, JohnC5, Mahagaja, Mnemosientje: This reconstruction has quite a few vowel issues. Old Norse shows a long e-grade, German and Dutch attest a u-grade (which is often copped out by claiming Latin influence), and Old English shows simultaneously both a short e-grade and the u-grade. As a result, Kroonen believes that this noun was ablauting in Proto-Germanic proper.

How should we resolve this discrepancy? mellohi! (僕の乖離) 15:06, 13 June 2018 (UTC)


Missing etymology. 20:58, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

Русский Викисловарь gives an etymology, which I copy here (in translation): "From German Genettkatze or Dutch genetta, from French genette, ginetta, Portuguese ginetta, the source of which is Arabic ǰarnaiṭ ("sable cat")." (I think the Dutch word is actually genet; genetta is Italian while Genetta is the genus name.) This etymology is sourced to Vasmer's Russisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. The English Wiktionary states for English genet: "From Anglo-Norman genette, Middle French genette, jenette et al., of uncertain origin." The only references to ǰarnaiṭ I see on the Web are from the entry in Vasmer's etymological dictionary; I can only guess at its spelling in Arabic script, but did not venture a try. It is not what the Arabic Wikipedia gives for Civetta (زريقاء) or Common genet (زباد شائع). I'm also quite unsure what is meant here by "sable cat" – I guess not Burmese cat, which wouldn't have a simple Arabic name.  --Lambiam 01:21, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
These dictionaries 123 mention Arabic jarnait, jarnayt, jarnayṭ.--Cinemantique (talk) 02:04, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
See [2]:
Seen in 13th-century English,[27] 13th-century French and Catalan, and 12th-century Portuguese.[7] It is absent from medieval Arabic writings.[28] Nevertheless, an oral dialectical Maghrebi Arabic source for the European word has been suggested. جرنيط jarnait = "genet" is attested in the 19th century in Maghrebi dialect.[29] But the absence of attestation in Arabic in any earlier century must make Arabic origin questionable. Benwing2 (talk) 02:08, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
Given the animal's natural distribution and apparent route of transmission to Europe, what chance that this is from a Maghrebi dialect or a Berber language, and thus a term that didn't exist in broader Arabic contexts?
Anything useful to be discerned from [[w:Genet_(animal)#Etymology]]? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:22, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
One of the meanings of genet is jennet, a small Spanish horse. The etymology given for jennet is that it is ultimately from Andalusian Arabic زَنَاتِي‎ (zanáti), the Zenati or Zenata Berbers (Wikipedia: Zenata). Wikipedia's Genet (animal) article states as a fact that the common genet was brought from the Maghreb to the Mediterranean region as a semi-domestic animal about 1000 to 1500 years ago, and from there introduced to southwestern Europe during historical times. If the Berber origin is correct, the etymon of genet in the sense of a nocturnal cat-like mammal might be the same as for the horse. If so, the name for the cat-like mammal may originally have been something like Zenata cat, which can easily have been shortened to its first part – just like Turkey fowl became turkey.  --Lambiam 07:33, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
The loss of the German initial [ɡ] makes sense, since it is/was pronounced as [j] in many German dialects. Cf. ефре́йтор (jefréjtor, lance corpora) derived from the German Gefreiter. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:45, 16 June 2018 (UTC)


Is the initial "a" in this word the Italian prefix a- (the one cognate to ad-), or is it simply there to make the word easier to pronounce? I'd like to know, because the etymology section for arringare (the verb) mentions nothing about it, and arringa has no etymology section of its own. Tharthan (talk) 15:06, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

I've not seen anywhere (yet) where reference is made to ad-: it seems more likely that the word is derived from a compound *hari-hring and it is simply a corruption of the first syllable in that word. The verb is derived from the noun, which also has the a- Leasnam (talk) 18:24, 14 June 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

There's some good material here, but the etymology and the descendants section say a lot of interesting individual things and basically nothing as a whole. Likewise, there are some good comments on the talk page that aren't reflected in the entry itself. Especially problematic are Classical Syriac as both source and descendant, and Homeric vocabulary borrowed from Proto-Germanic. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:29, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Catalan ferro[edit]

Does anyone have an idea why Catalan ferro turned out the way it did, and not *fer or *ferre (similar to its Occitan counterpart)? Is it simply an unusual exception? Or could it have been influenced by Aragonese or something? Apparently, it has been attested since around 1300. Word dewd544 (talk) 17:01, 18 June 2018 (UTC)


Could someone please verify the anon edit to the etymology here? ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:10, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

@Tooironic: The edit was not made by an anon, but by @Mteechan. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 00:30, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, yes you're right. @Mteechan could you fix the formatting of the etymology for starters? ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:33, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
@Tooironic: What do you mean by "formatting of the etymology for starters"? Mteechan (talk) 06:57, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
It's not formatted properly. Please check how etymologies are formatted for other Chinese entries and make the relevant changes. Thank you. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:02, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
I expanded it a little bit. The idea is said from Li Rong, but I can't find the source. If you find it, you can help adding the source. Mteechan (talk) 07:37, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
膩歪鬼 is listed in my copy of Li Rong's 漢語方言大詞典 on page 6625 of Volume 5, existing in Changzhi dialect of Jin language. On the same page is 膩味人, but neither appears as 膩歪 or 膩味. Sorry I do not know how to leave a message here or edit properly. -Michael Campbell of Glossika, July 6 2018.
Thanks. @ You can sign your post with four tildes: ~~~~ which automatically produces your username and the current date and time. Also please consider creating an account and signing in to it when editing – it makes editing a bit easier. Wyang (talk) 05:41, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
There is also 膩味腻味 (nìwei), with the same meaning. Wyang (talk) 07:38, 19 June 2018 (UTC)


Says it's from Latin -inus which is from Ancient Greek -ινος, but the -inus page lists the Greek as a cognate. Which is it? Ultimateria (talk) 12:55, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

The Latin word amygdalinus can be explained as formed from amygdala + -inus, but it is equally plausible (IMO) to see it as the Latinification of Greek ἀμυγδάλινος, from ἀμυγδάλη (amugdálē) + -ινος (-inos). So it seems plausible to me that in some rare cases Classical Latin -inus can be viewed as being from Greek -ινος (-inos). That would be the exception, though. I'd say that for Neo-Latin formations giving rise to new scientific words suffixed with -ine the situation is somewhat less clear. (Note that English amygdaline comes from neither the Latin nor the Greek word, being a newly formed word.) I think one of the earliest scientific neologisms is the word benzine first attested in 1835, now in disuse, loaned from the German neologism Benzin. I don't know where Eilhardt Mitscherlich, who had coined the German word two years earlier, got the -in suffix from, but in this case the English -ine suffix is obviously from the older German-in, and later chemical substances named with the suffix -ine may well have been modelled after benzine.  --Lambiam 00:56, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
The Online Etymology Dictionary has more on the topic under -ine (1) & (2). One quote: "The Latin suffix is cognate with Greek -inos/-ine/-inon, and in some modern scientific words the element is from Greek." Note though that the stated specifically French connection for the chemical suffix is somewhat dubious, as the example aniline given there was actually borrowed from Anilin, coined by another German chemist in 1840 (later than Benzin).  --Lambiam 01:24, 20 June 2018 (UTC)


Is this etymology truly accurate? Other sources say that the verb is a derivative of an Old French word, estoner, which is from a reconstructed Latin word *extonare ("to leave one thunderstricken"), from ex- + tonare. Even if the word has an Old English origin, is it not more likely that the current form of the word (with an "o") is due to Old French influence? Tharthan (talk) 01:04, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

If you look at the etymology given under astonen, you can see that our Wiktionary is also of two minds; the certainty at astonish has been replaced by uncertainty.  --Lambiam 01:36, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
It pretty much follows the Etymology given by Century, that astonish is an augmented form of astony, itself a variant of aston, astone, astun, which we seem to lack. Leasnam (talk) 00:35, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

Etymology 1 of hunaw[edit]

I just added an etymology of the Cebuano word "hunaw" as it has originated from *hənəw (per Blust's Austronesian Comparative Dictionary), but a native speaker, User:Carl Francis insists that the etymology is not yet known. I brought this as the user requested to have its etymology verified (and even calling me a meddler because I am not a Cebuano speaker). -TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 05:09, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

Whether you are competent in Cebuano or not is independent of the reliability of Blust's Dictionary. —Suzukaze-c 19:28, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
If the user insists that the etymology is unknown even there are sources he can use to find a better one (like the ACD), I will bring it to the talk page of the word in question. I am not a Cebuano speaker, but I can recognize cognates with words in my native language, Tagalog, most traceable back to Proto-Philippine, Proto-Malayo-Polynesian, and Proto-Austronesian. The word in question has a cognate with Tagalog: hinaw (now a Batangas dialect word), so, both are traceable back to *hənəw when looking it up at the ACD.-TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 13:54, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

Germanic jo[edit]

German etymology says it's an alternation of 'ja', Scandinavian ones are blank. It seems more likely to me, on phonetic grounds, that this continues Germanic *io, i.e. 'any-, ever' instead. Is either of these etymologies not pure guesswork? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 23:37, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

(​kusa, kusawai)[edit]

Is kusa reading for (tane, seed) cognate with (kusa, grass)? Both have odaka pitch accent.

Also, is kusawai has the same /papi1/ ending as 幸い (saiwai) and 災い (wazawai)? ~ POKéTalker) 12:23, 21 June 2018 (UTC)

  • Re: the -wai in kusawai, the KDJ states:


The etym for this -wau suffix is then given as:


So, yes, this is the same component.
  • Re: (kusa) (kusa), I haven't seen any reference work describing this, but it's certainly plausible. One of the senses of (kusa) is “the base or origin (もと) that produces things”, with kusawai given as a synonym in some sources. Given the etymology of kusawai as essentially kusa (kind? grass?) + -wai (spreading all over), and given that grass does indeed grow this way, and also that grass grows from the base rather than the tip, there does appear to be the right kinds of semantic overlap to suggest cognates. The identical pitch accent patterns seem to further support cognacy.
I think this is worth mentioning, so long as it's clear that this is (currently, anyway) speculation, by adding in words like “possibly, maybe”, etc. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:00, 21 June 2018 (UTC)


The listed etymology is dubious. What is the actual history of the usage of the word in record and literature? Its rather recent coinage and therefore the idea of a jump from Ancient Greek to Middle French is dubious. The key is not "rule by the best" because there is no liking among aristocrats for challenges to determine who is "best," as in democracy, rather the key idea is "hereditary rule." Aristocrat as in heir as in heredity. -Inowen (talk) 03:14, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

People in the Middle Ages considered aristocrats to be better than everyone else. What you think about aristocrats is irrelevant. As for the rest, Ancient Greek was part of the education of the few who were literate in those times, so there was nothing unusual about Ancient Greek being used to coin words. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:00, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
Actually, aristocracy wasn't recently coined. The Greek etymon ἀριστοκρατία (aristokratía) was used early in the history of Greek by Thucydides (History of the Pelopponesian War 3.82) and by several other authors listed in the LSJ entry. — Eru·tuon 20:49, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
LSJ defines ἀριστοκρατία as "rule of the best-born", which I assume to be the same as the most well-born. The upper crust of the upper class. The best-born are not necessarily also the best. Unless LSJ display here some bias, the ancient meaning of aristocracy is not that different from the current meaning; what has changed is the ideology-based valuation. By the way, ἀριστοκράτης is an attested word; shouldn't it be given as the etymon of aristocrat?  --Lambiam 23:43, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
TLFi suggests that it was formed independently. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:35, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
You raise an interesting point here in that "rule by the best-born" is different from just simply saying "rule by the best," such that the previous definition is clearly indicated as inaccurate. These are extremely different meanings, "best" and "best-born." -Inowen (talk) 22:32, 3 July 2018 (UTC) PS: Anyone with usage frequencies in texts since its ancient coinage? Also, what formal terms do we have for coinage by aristocrats, coinage thats political, or coinage that just doesn't work in the natural language mode? -Inowen (talk) 07:49, 6 July 2018 (UTC)


I came across the word "Sallee" and was disappointed to find no suitable Wiktionary entry at https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Sallee. Using Google Ngram Viewer 1700-1900, my context seems to coincide with a geographical region: Fez in Ancient Morocco within which was a coastal village named "Sallee" by English writers. Being unfamiliar with editing in Wiktionary, I leave this breadcrumb... in case someone else cares to make an appropriate entry. Klarm768 (talk) 10:17, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure this is the same as Salé. On Wikipedia, Sallee redirects to Salé.  --Lambiam 23:49, 23 June 2018 (UTC)


I was reading this site about the Sanskrit-Croatian connection, which strikes me as a bit contrived, as although we seem to have the most cognates, other Slavic languages like Serbian, Czech, Russian etc. also share the majority of those word roots. However, I was intrigued by the supposed Sanskrit word for sky/heaven, nabhasa, which is similar to our nebo/nebesa. Unfortunately I couldn't find any more specific about nabhasa online (it's mentioned as नाभस in Wiktionary's योग), and this seems to indicate to me that nAbha- is the root and -sa is just an adjectival suffix?

Still, I was interested because this is so similar to the word nebo's unusual -esa plural form, which seems to be shared by a lot of other Slavic languages. I can only think of two other words in Croatian which form the plural this way (tijelo-tijela/tjelesa, čudo-čuda/čudesa). Is anything known about the etymology of this rare plural suffix? 23:01, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

I don't know about the details of the morphology, but yes, nabhasa sounds like some kind of a derivative of नभस् (nabhas) (from the widespread *nébʰos family). --Tropylium (talk) 13:39, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
On the Slavic end of things, the -es- ending is attested with several more neuter nouns in Old Church Slavonic, where it wasn’t only used for the plural, but could appear in any form other than the nominative and accusative singular. See Category:Old Church Slavonic s-stem nouns for a list of all the words that took this ending. Both the Sanskrit word and the Slavic one come from Proto-Indo-European *nébʰos, as Tropylium mentioned; in the course of the evolution from Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Slavic, -s was lost at the end of words. It was retained in the plural and other forms because it wasn’t word-final in those forms. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 19:57, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

Kermanic language codes[edit]

Per this discussion, I think we should retire the following dialect codes in favor of etymology only codes: atn, vaf, kfm, ntz, soj, gzi, nyq, gbz. Also see this page for a better understanding.

I'm curious what the policy on this is -- do etymology codes need to match the ISO code, or can, say, kfm be moved to ker-xun? @-sche, Metaknowledge --Victar (talk) 15:52, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. We don't really have a policy on it, but we've opted to have etymology codes match ISO codes in the past (e.g. gkm, xno). The reasoning is if somebody is unaware of the merger and tries to use them in an etymology, it'll work as intended. This is a case where I can imagine that making new codes might make your life easier if you're intending to add a lot of entries, but I'd like to see what -sche has to say about it. (I'd ping them, were it not for the fact that you've already pinged us three times when making this post.) —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:11, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
Also, in the future, the talk page of a discussion forum is for content related to the forum itself; discussion about actual language codes would normally go at WT:RFM (but WT:ES is also fine). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:12, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
I suppose there actually wouldn't be any real ill-effects of having both kfm and ker-xun active for the same dialect (kfm is especially grievous, as Xunsari/Khunsari has neither and f nor an m in its name). Pinging @-sche. (sorry for posting error -- misclick) --Victar (talk) 19:33, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
No, I'm not saying that we can have two codes simultaneously in use for the same dialect. You still have to choose a unique code for each. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:35, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm saying that though. All these etymology codes are are aliases, so I don't really see too much of a problem with having two aliases of the same dialect. It's a moot point anyhow if we're fine disregarding the ISO code. --Victar (talk) 21:11, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
In the past, when a lect already has an ISO code, we've tended to use that as the etymology-only code. We could add aliases, like how "ML." is an alias of "la-med" (m["ML."] = m["la-med"]), if you'd prefer to type some other string. - -sche (discuss) 23:43, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
The ML./la-med solution sounds sensible to me. I've added the codes. If one of you wouldn't mind, could you remove codes I listed above (minus the ones i struck, for now)? Thanks! @-sche, Metaknowledge --Victar (talk) 03:08, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia claims Vafsi is a Tati dialect, and though it may be a transitional dialect, all the modern sources I've read cite it as a CD/Kermanic dialect. Given that it's disputed, leaving it for now. --Victar (talk) 03:34, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
OK, I've removed the codes listed above from Module:languages, and (I think) fixed all of the (few) resulting module errors. - -sche (discuss) 20:40, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, @-sche! Really appreciate you taking the time. --Victar (talk) 00:36, 7 July 2018 (UTC)


I've added some references to the etymology, but even they speculate that, alternatively, perhaps the Greek is a borrowing of Sanskrit, and/or that the words are not related to Akkadian at all. (See also Paleoglot.) So others may want to take a look and expand things; in particular, if there is enough scholarship to tentatively reconstruct the PIE term, even if its existence is debated, it might be best to reconstruct it and move discussion of (its debated existence and) the possible derivation from Akkadian to there. - -sche (discuss) 00:05, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

give a fig[edit]

Could this be a minced oath for give a fuck? But there's also care a fig, and no corresponding **care a fuck, so I'm not sure. Per utramque cavernam 12:32, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

It might be older...and literally refer to a fig (the fruit). Middle Enlgish had an expression neuer a fyge which meant "not at all, not a bit", literally, "never/not even a fig" Leasnam (talk) 23:45, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
There's also a rude gesture called a fig that Shakespeare referred to several times. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:18, 30 June 2018 (UTC)